In-situ, long-term operational stability of organic photovoltaics for off-grid applications in Africa

Christopher J. M. Emmott, Davide Moia, Philip Sandwell, Nicholas Ekins-Daukes, Markus Hösel, Lukas Lukoschek, Charith Amarasinghe, Frederik C Krebs, Jenny Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents a field-trial of organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology used within a practical application for rural electrification in Rwanda. Fourteen, large area, flexible, ITO-free, roll-to-roll processed OPV modules, encapsulated with low-cost materials, were installed on corrugated steel roofs at two sites in a rural village in Southern Rwanda and subject to continuous monitoring. This field-trial exposed modules to very high levels of insolation, in particular in the UV, high temperatures and heavy rainfall. Results show that the modules exhibit practical lifetimes (to degrade by 20% of their initial capacity) of between 2 and 5 months, a value 5-6 times lower than control modules kept both in the dark and outdoors in Roskilde, Denmark. Degradation was primarily the result of extensive delamination caused by failure of the non-UV stable encapsulation, which led to decay in the FF, Voc and Isc of the module.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by Climate-KIC and the European Commission's CHEETAH Project (FP7-Energy-2013- Grant no. 609788)


  • Failure mechanisms
  • Field testing
  • Off-grid application
  • Outdoor testing in Africa
  • Polymer solar cell modules

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